Fucking illusions, man. If I were to tell you that the WWE was predetermined by giving you the illusion that its real you wouldn’t even blink an eye, right? If I were to tell you that the WWE uses common story structures repeatedly because they’re designed to create those illusions for them without any real effort on their part, then not a single eye lash moves, correct? What if I told you that the WWE knew we knew so now sometimes they fake the original illusion on television so they could create a second illusional? Did you go cross-eyed? What if I told you that the WWE was aware you knew about those second illusions and would use those to create a third illusion? Did your eyes just do a full HBK?
WWE goes to the David and Goliath well a lot because it tugs at your heartstrings and makes you believe that a guy who is three times your size and 10 times more talented with 100 times the money is somehow relatable to you because you’re also an underdog in something. That’s an illusion. They’re giving you the illusion that there is no way this smaller guy can win so that when he does finally win you can live vicariously through him. Sometimes we already expect that to happen, and as a result, sometimes the WWE throws a curveball by having him lose. They created this idea in your head that you knew they were trying to create ideas in your head when in reality you were having the wrong idea.
An example of scenario 1 is Daniel Bryan. It was obvious during his road to Wrestlemania with Triple H in 2014 that he was being portrayed in a way that would make it huge when he won (unless you’re Booker T.) An example of scenario 2 would be Rey Mysterio’s first World title win, which saw him get kicked around more times than Lita’s baby in a Snitsky parade despite supposedly already having defeated Goliath. This situation feels awkward because we expected our hearts to be full of cute and cuddly dogs, but instead the WWE served us a dead puppy on a silver platter. “But I thought you wanted Rey Mysterio as champion,” WWE asks while stroking their massive, throbbing, veiny egos.
An example of scenario 3 is Finn Balor against Brock Lesnar, hypothetically. This is the situation where the WWE knows you’re expecting Finn to overcome the odds because that’s what David is supposed to do but also knows you’re expecting him to lose because that’s what small guys in the WWE are likely to do. What will most likely happen is either a total squash match like all of Brock Lesnar’s matches OR it’ll be a disqualification ending. We’ll call this method the Schrodinger’s DQ: You can assume that WWE both does and doesn’t care about Finn Balor as legit contender because you can’t see the results.
One of the best parts about being a wrestling fan is being able to tell a millionaire with decades of business experience what he’s doing wrong from the comfort of our cool Uncle’s basement and other wrestling fans don’t find it weird. One of the worst things about being a wrestling fan is that it doesn’t matter what we think the WWE should do. They have a team of people putting numbers into a machine and getting data we don’t have available to us. That doesn’t stop the WWE from telling us that we have all the power. It couldn’t be further from the truth. This is like telling my children that they have all the power in the household. I’m still the one who must make the money and decide how it gets spent. Plus, little Johnny’s shrimp primavera tastes like shit. We don’t have any real say over what the WWE does other than if the numbers dip too low the WWE knows to switch things up like when my kids stop eating because they don’t like boxed potatoes and yesterday’s leftover boxed potatoes every night for supper. It’s all an illusion that we have any say at all, really. But fuck it, I’m about to get hypocritical.
I think Finn Balor should win the title at the Royal Rumble. He won’t, but I think he should. I think the WWE should let this David versus Goliath angle play out status quo. Don’t give me that shit that this is an angle leading up to a Road to Wrestlemania match with Finn Balor versus some monster backed by the authority side, either. Don’t give me that cliched “can’t we just wait until it all plays out? They’re telling a long story!” No. It’s 2019. Netflix literally puts out an entire season of all their original series because they know damn well what most companies know now: Cable television is dying because people want instant gratification (among other reasons.) Even if you like the slowburn stories, a lot of us don’t. No, I don’t want to hear about how “vanilla midgets” aren’t believable against monsters because that’s the entire point of the David versus Goliath story, and the ship sailed on the USS Believability the moment Undertaker started summoning lightning and Braun Strowman flipped over vehicles.
If you want believability, then you can go to the UFC where legend has it CM Punk is still standing in the middle of the octagon never having thrown a punch.